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Nebraska...Our Towns

grainton1jres.jpg (15138 bytes)GRAINTON -- PERKINS COUNTY

Grainton is perhaps one of Nebraska's vanishing towns. Oh, its still there and is included in the list of incorporated towns with the Department of Roads, but it has not been in the directory of Nebraska towns for several years.

The town of 20 is located on State Highway 23 in Perkins County. The only remaining commercial enterprise is a large grain elevator near the railroad, across the highway from the town site proper.

The post office was established in March of 1918. Interestingly enough, there was no grain elevator at that time. Apparently all the grain was handled throuogh "shovel houses," where men first shoveled the grain into bin-type buildings all day and spent most of the night shoveling it into railroad cars, or directly from the farm wagons to railroad cars on the siding.

According to Verl Harris, a former resident who lived in Grainton as a child, the town had a hardware store, drug store, grocery store, and a lumberyard in the mid-twenties. The post office was located in the drug store. They also had a doctor. The peak population, according to Perkey's Nebraska Place Names , was 139 in 1930.

grainton2jres.jpg (14277 bytes)Today there are only a number of abandoned buildings remaining where businesses once flurished. Typical of these buildings is the schoolhouse. At one time this was an impressive two-story brick structure. It is not known if there were ever enough students from the area to fully utilize the building. It looks as if possibly one of the local businesses used part of the old building as a storage area for a time. The building is now in the process of being torn down.

There is a nice, recently remodeled Methodist Church in Grainton, and perhaps five or six occupied homes or trailers. Mail now arrives at a multiple mail box container, similar to what one might see in front of a trailer court.

The elevator, with the name Rickel Grain-Scouler painted in big letters, was the only outward sign of life in the little town of Grainton that day.


From material supplied by Gene and Phyllis Harris, 842 New Hampshire, Lincoln, NE 68508.

Note: Grainton did not respond to the request for a story. Information was obtain from the notes Gene and Phyllis Harris recorded as they travel across Nebraska and pictures they took.